Tag Archives: Facebook

What does social media success look like?

The success of any social media program is irrevocably tied to the initial expectations of the program.  What did you think was going to happen?

“We’ve integrated the Social channels & Social personality into our everyday business and we’re now seeing unprecedented positive service sentiment and we’re very happy with the steady (organic) growth of loyal and engaged followers over time.” – said no client EVER.

Having a clear formula for success up-front is crucial to your expectations. And having clear expectations up-front is crucial to your success.  But this is not the chicken or the egg.  Expectations can come in many shapes and sizes. They are very complex and multi-faceted. Here is my top 10 list of expectations that MUST be internalized or the overall perceived success of your program will be decreased significantly.

Expectation #1:  Your entire decision-making team must ALL have the same expectations and the “buy-in” needs to be top-down.

Expectation #2:  You need to work hard to be relevant. This is not the Field of Dreams—you must do more than build it.

Expectation #3:   Be more concerned with measurable engagement than the number of followers.  Vanity metrics is good for your ego, but is not sustainable and can be manipulated in the bottom line.  Seek to win consumer trust and brand advocacy instead.

Expectation #4:  You must provide customer service in social channels with a purpose and commitment that may leave you vulnerable and transparent. Be accountable, timely and consistent with your community.

Expectation #5:   Keep evolving. This space is dynamic—changing constantly.  Take risks in new channels and with new creative brand storytelling angles. Stretch outside your comfort zone, there are no hard and fast rules. The worst that can happen is nobody joins you. Go ahead and blaze some trails.

Expectation #6:  The size (number of followers) of your current social communities is NOT the size of your engaged audience at all times.  If you have 10,000 followers on Facebook, I assure you that they are not all collectively holding their breath until you release your amazing $10 off coupon.  Refer to expectation #2.

Expectation #7:  You MUST advertise your Social presences (online and off) if you want to jumpstart your community numbers. It doesn’t matter what you have to say or offer if nobody is there to hear you.  On-going advertising is worthwhile to COMPLEMENT organic growth and raise awareness outside your established communities.

Expectation #8:  Social Media is not an overnight success. Be patient. Your success will be determined by your audience sentiment (they will tell you if you have a successful Social program) and not your internal measurement. Traditionally, majority customer sentiment determines a brand’s service quality—and this tradition has not changed.

Expectation #9:  Establish trusted brand partnerships that will keep you connected to Social/Digital trends and strategies in order to keep you evolving. Adopt Social policies internally and train team members in best practices and engagement philosophies.  People say and do stupid things online, and your employees are people.

Expectation #10: As communities grow, so will the number of hours you need to commit to maintaining them. This is where things really start to get interesting—and consequently where most brands abandon their social ship citing budget restrictions.  Momentum is key. Don’t let your mouth write a cheque that your actions can’t cash. (Yeah, actions isn’t what I was thinking either.)

With a base understanding of realistic expectations, you can start to formulate what success will look like to you. Set goals, use benchmarks, and try and have a little fun.


Filed under Social Media, social strategist, social writer

Facebook to buy Instagram for $1-billion

Woah… a blog post from Mark Zuckerberg:

I’m excited to share the news that we’ve agreed to acquire Instagram and that their talented team will be joining Facebook.

For years, we’ve focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family. Now, we’ll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests.

We believe these are different experiences that complement each other. But in order to do this well, we need to be mindful about keeping and building on Instagram’s strengths and features rather than just trying to integrate everything into Facebook.

That’s why we’re committed to building and growing Instagram independently. Millions of people around the world love the Instagram app and the brand associated with it, and our goal is to help spread this app and brand to even more people.

We think the fact that Instagram is connected to other services beyond Facebook is an important part of the experience. We plan on keeping features like the ability to post to other social networks, the ability to not share your Instagrams on Facebook if you want, and the ability to have followers and follow people separately from your friends on Facebook.

These and many other features are important parts of the Instagram experience and we understand that. We will try to learn from Instagram’s experience to build similar features into our other products. At the same time, we will try to help Instagram continue to grow by using Facebook’s strong engineering team and infrastructure.

This is an important milestone for Facebook because it’s the first time we’ve ever acquired a product and company with so many users. We don’t plan on doing many more of these, if any at all. But providing the best photo sharing experience is one reason why so many people love Facebook and we knew it would be worth bringing these two companies together.

We’re looking forward to working with the Instagram team and to all of the great new experiences we’re going to be able to build together.

What do you think of that?

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Filed under Social Media, Uncategorized, world news

eBegging—does your brand reek of desperation?

Do you keep asking your customers to Like or Follow you without giving them a reason to engage with you?  Do you know what that looks like to them?

Don’t get hung up on the numbers

How many followers do we have on Twitter?  How many fans on Facebook?  We need more fans—increase that number!  Go! Go! Go! 

Gah! Don’t be motivated by scalp count.  What’s the value of a Facebook Like if you have to ask, beg or bribe to get it?  This will build you a following of semi-interested individuals that don’t want to be bothered by you.  Is this a fundamental principle of your Social strategy?   Please no.   Don’t be that brand.

Even in the off-chance that you do convince them to Like or follow you, it doesn’t mean they’re going to read (or even see) any of your posts aside from the one that bought them.  That person just becomes a number on your wall.  Some of you may use these numbers as metrics to support the ROI of social to your company.  However, if I’m not reading your posts or engaging with you, should I be included in that ROI assessment?  I’m never going to buy—I’m just here lurking for free stuff.  You’re fudging your numbers to the C-Suite mister.

“Some studies show that a whopping 90% of Facebook users don’t return to a fan page once they click the Like button.”  – Mari Smith, Social Media Examiner

Do the work for the Like or Follow

Social media is the law of attraction versus interruption.  You attract others through your credibility, your honesty, your direct engagement, and your humanity. You demonstrate and bring value to the relationship.  Makes you all warm and fuzzy inside, doesn’t it?  OR you can continue to nag, interrupt and slam anyone who will listen with your advertising song and dance jazz-hands.

It all comes back to one simple principle.  The content you publish will attract the audience you are trying to reach.   It’s good content for the good of the people.  Offer solutions to questions and problems without openly pitching your business.  Show your expertise with relevant content.  Allow those already following to share in their communities—sending real interest back to your page.  Consumers are more likely to take notice of what you are doing this way.  Show them the credibility, honesty, humanity and direct engagement you have with others.  Be a giver and the fruits of your efforts will come back tenfold.

As with traditional marketing, exposure increases familiarity which in turn increases recognition with your brand or company.  You have just increased your chances of becoming top-of-mind when it comes time to make a purchase from a brand within your industry.

It’s time to stop begging for Likes and start delivering content that makes them want to Like you.   Then, and only then, have you earned the right to ask for anything.

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Filed under Social Media, social strategist, social writer

Schmooze with some of Hollywood’s biggest names at this year’s TIFF!

Longo’s is celebrating the first anniversary of their Toronto, Maple Leaf Square store (MLSFest) and they’re using social media sites to spread all kinds of excitement and fun with a contest!  They are giving their customers the exclusive opportunity to rub elbows with Film Festival elite!

MLSFest kicked off Friday offering customers of the Maple Leaf Square store the opportunity to WIN two tickets to a Toronto film festival (industry-only) premiere screening and after-party on the evening of September 9th, 2011!

I KNOW, right?

Check out the contest details on this page and then hurry down to their MLS store and either checkin on Foursquare, grab the photo of the day and Tweet the image or upload it to Facebook to enter.  OR… do all three!

Break out the little black dress and tuxedo.  It’s party time—Hollywood style!

MLSFest will continue throughout the month of September and on into October with additional promotions, special offers and giveaways—including the opportunity to WIN tickets to more Film Festival events!

Get down to the Maple Leaf Square store and become part of the celebration!

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Filed under projects & events, Social Media

Sketchy lines for the professionally social

Once upon a time, professional networking happened after hours while sipping an aperitif or while swinging your golf clubs at a charity event.  Putting together your professional image in the privacy of your personal space before shaking hands with prospects or clients will soon be a thing of the past.  Image used to be everything.  But now, with the explosion of Facebook, they’ve all seen you in a messy tube top holding both ends of a beer bong.

Facebook and other social media sites have blurred the lines between personal and professional.  It’s a strange tangle of ‘friends’ that you retain and it can be impossible to tell where one begins and the other ends.  Times have definitely changed—and the shift continues at a monumental rate.  For the new generations it will be all they know.  The idea of an archaic professional image (that some of us continue to cling to) will be as important to them as an eight-track cassette of The Bay City Rollers—or as necessary as a pen.

The surest way to maintain your individual professional image is to show it to everyone.  While that may take care of you as an individual, what does that mean for your business?  As you move your company out into the social stream, the course of your professional actions are now muddied in a personal dance with your consumers—while the whole world watches.  Gone are the days where you could interact one-to-one and if you gave a less than stellar customer service performance to one individual, then you had the opportunity to make amends before it snowballed out of control.  Negative publicity was word of mouth.  Now, your lurking prospects , customers, and stakeholders can see it with their own eyes.  You start with the out-of-control snowball—and you must work backward and quickly melt it back down to nothing.  You must make amends to the whole world—not just one unhappy customer.

The positive in this—and yes, there is one there—is that this new age of social networking will keep you honest.  It will tighten and hone your professional customer service techniques so that each customer or prospect you deal with will be given the same courtesy and attention to detail as the next.  It’s a win—win.  To help you bridge this gap will be a great social strategist (hi, nice to meet you) that will coach and navigate for you, gently pushing you forward, building your brand up in front of the social eyes of your consumers, and helping you to organize yourself in front of your waiting audience.  Make no mistake—it is important that you be there.  Everyone is there.  You’re already conspicuous with your absence.  If you don’t steer your social reputation, your unhappy customers, disgruntled employees and crazy ex-wife will.

Now, as an individual, you’re completely on your own.  It’s possible that nobody will be watching you.  Maybe the only interaction you will have is on your birthday when your mom posts the obligatory “happy birthday” on your Facebook wall.  I can’t help you with that.



Filed under Social Media

The Uber-friend Buzz: Liane Carruthers

You might think that the Irish Leprechaun of lore is a withered old man who chases rainbows in gnarly buckled shoes—and you might be right.  But, let me tell you a little something about the Advertising Leprechaun—she has GREAT shoes and a healthy amount of Bieber-fever.

Liane Carruthers is no solitary creature.  And, might I add, there is nothing gnarly or withered about her.  As a matter of fact, Liane takes the GOLD in the Olympic events of smiling and plain ol’ gosh-dang cuteness—every year.  She is an energetic, infectious, and powerfully contagious woman who uses her powers for good.  Rarely seen angry, this sweet sprite-like Polkaroo chooses words like “miffed” to express her extreme displeasure and has the magical ability to spring-up from the shadows just when you need her the most—she can leap small buildings and balance herself endlessly on the points of her Jimmy Choos.    

This supermom and bargain-sniffing sleuth is everyone’s ideal BFF.  Sweet-tempered and sensitive with a generous trusting nature, she exploits the best of you.  Her doe-eyed innocence can camouflage her Leprechaun trickery—so tread cautiously.  She’s been known to be a fireball of mischief from time-to-time. (It’s always those smiley ones you have to watch out for.)  If it’s simply a vacation pal you’re after, Liane is always game for travelling to sunny destinations to get those “must have” beach-sand pedicures.  Special note to Mr. Clooney—it is purely coincidental that she happens to vacation in the same places as you.  Leprechauns don’t stalk.  It’s Irish law.

In her career, Liane is something of a media genius and has miles of experience in advertising and publishing to prove it.  She’s the ideal candidate for any media task you might have—big or small—and she’s also great at parties.  If you should have the opportunity to work with Liane in real life one day—as I have—take it. 

Just don’t rub her for luck.  She doesn’t always like that.



Filed under Interviews, Social Media, world news

Are Facebook friends real friends? If so, what have you done for me lately?

I’ve spent a lot of time recently thinking about all 2,400+ of my FB friends—on my personal page.  Most of us know that “Facebook” friendship is not the same as “personal” friendships—although there may be a few that have come to believe that I should babysit their kids or loan them fifty bucks.  We live in a “digital” space more than a “people” space now, so it’s possible the lines are blurring—but just to be clear—I’m still not lending you fifty bucks.

This community of friends we’ve built is a sort of fellowship of like-minded artists.  Each of us is a bit like Frodo out on a solo journey with countless dangers—and yes, ring-wraiths and soap-deprived orcs are out there waiting for us.  You know who they are.  Together, we can form a powerful alliance.  What say you? 

I’m going to start posting about some of my “friends” in order to get to know the fellowship better.  It will be a short and sweet scoop of their professional and personal information—although no stalker-friendly personal information will be given.     

If you’d like to be featured, join me on FB and send me a note, or join the discussion on the Uberscribbler fan page wall by posting the words “do me”—just because I’m immature that way.  C’mon, don’t be coy.  You know you want the exposure.  A few more eyeballs on your work couldn’t hurt.  It may not be five minutes of fame—but five minutes of fun is worth it, isn’t it?  What’s the catch you ask?  I’m going to write it.  Don’t send me a stuffy, professional prepared bio.  Nobody wants to read that—especially me, and I won’t post it.  I’ll get everything I need from your FB profile—I promise to be respectful—although it would help if you had a good sense of humour. 

So, let the Uber-friend Buzz begin!    I can’t WAIT to start getting “do me” emails from my “friends.”  After I stop giggling, I’m going to do you! 



Filed under Social Media, world news